The pathway to recertification of an orthopaedic surgeon was the most contentious issue facing orthopaedics in the 20th century. The history of this effort, conducted by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS), is herein chronicled, including the false starts, the opposition by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) and the subsequent compromises. These combined efforts have yielded a process of which all of orthopaedics can be proud. Before the ABOS can successfully embark upon the concept of Maintenance of Certification (MOC©), however, the story of recertification must be understood.
This paper is derived directly from the recorded minutes of meetings of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS). In addition, some information has been taken from minutes of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) and from Resolutions of the Academy.